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In Photos: Muslims across the globe observe a sombre Eid al-Adha amid COVID-19 restrictions

03:49 PM Jul 20, 2021 |

Muslims around the world were observing Tuesday yet another major Islamic holiday in the shadow of the pandemic and amid growing concerns about the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus.

Eid al-Adha, or the "Feast of Sacrifice," is typically marked by communal prayers, large social gatherings and, for many, slaughtering of livestock and giving meat to the needy. This year, the holiday comes as many countries battle the delta variant first identified in India, prompting some to impose new restrictions or issue appeals for people to avoid congregating and follow safety protocols.

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The pandemic has already taken a toll for the second year on a sacred mainstay of Islam, the hajj, whose last days coincide with Eid al-Adha. Once drawing some 2.5 million Muslims from across the globe to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the Islamic pilgrimage has been dramatically scaled back due to the virus.

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This year, 60,000 vaccinated Saudi citizens or residents of Saudi Arabia have been allowed to perform the hajj, preventing Muslims from other countries from fulfilling the Islamic obligation.

The World Health Organization has reported that COVID-19 deaths had climbed after a period of decline. The reversal has been attributed to low vaccination rates, relaxed mask rules and other precautions, and the delta variant.

Here's a look at how Muslims celebrated Eid al-Adha across the globe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Filipino Muslims offer prayers to mark Eid al-Adha outside a mosque in Manila City, suburban Manila on July 20, 2021.
Muslims offer prayers during the first day of Eid al-Adha, outside the iconic Haghia Sophia in the historic Sultan Ahmed district of Istanbul, Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
A handout picture released by the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency shows President Bashar al-Assad (C) performing Eid al-Adha prayer at Khaled bin al-Walid mosque in Homs on July 20, 2021.
Muslim believers pray at a mosque near Pristina, Kosovo,on July 20, 2021, during the sacrificial Eid al-Adha festival
Sheep lie down in the straw in front of a mosque near Pristina, Kosovo, on July 20, 2021, during the sacrificial Eid al-Adha festival.
An Afghan security personnel frisks a devotee at the entrance of a mosque during the Eid al-Adha prayers in Kabul on July 20, 2021.
This aerial picture taken on July 20, 2021 shows Muslims attending prayers to mark the Eid al-Adha festival at the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
Russian Muslims gather in the Sobornaya mosque, Moscow Cathedral Mosque on July 20, 2021 during celebrations of Eid al-Adha (Kurban Bairam).
Muslims gather on the road to pray outside a mosque to mark Eid al-Adha, the annual celebration known as the Festival of Sacrifice, in Ungaran, Central Java on July 20, 2021.
Russian Muslims gather in the Sobornaya mosque, Moscow Cathedral Mosque on July 20, 2021 during celebrations of Eid al-Adha (Kurban Bairam).
Iraqi worshippers perform the al-Adha feast prayers on the first day of the feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide, at the Mohammed Alamine mosque in the northern city of Mosul, on July 20, 2021.
Iraqi worshippers perform the al-Adha feast prayers on the first day of the feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide, at the Mohammed Alamine mosque in the northern city of Mosul, on July 20, 2021.
Afghan Muslim devotees offer their Eid al-Adha prayers inside a mosque in Kabul on July 20, 2021.
Afghan security personnel on alert outside a mosque during Eid-al-Adha prayers in Kabul on July 20, 2021.
Muslims gather to pray at the Islamic Centre Mosque to mark Eid al-Adha, the annual celebration known as the Festival of Sacrifice, in Lhokseumawe, Aceh on July 20, 2021.
Muslims attend prayers to mark the Eid al-Adha festival at the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh on July 20, 2021.
Albanian Muslim women pray during the Eid Al-Adha prayer at Skenderbej Square in Tirana on July 20, 2021.
Palestinian youths look into the Al-Aqsa mosque on the first day of the Eid al-Adha feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide, on July 20, 2021, through windows which were shattered two days earlier in renewed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa complex in Jerusalems old city.
A muslim boy takes pictures during the Eid al-Adha prayers on the first day of the feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide, at the Millennium Square in Hawassa, Ethiopia, on July 20, 2021.

With inputs from PTI.

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